More than 5,000 Knights will join the ranks of University of Central Florida alumni this week at three fall commencement ceremonies on Friday and Saturday.

The ceremonies at CFE Arena are:

  • 9 a.m. Friday, Dec. 18 for the College of Education and Human Performance, College of Health & Public Affairs, and the Rosen College of Hospitality Management.
  • 2:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 18 for the College of Arts & Humanities, College of Graduate Studies, College of Nursing, College of Sciences, and College of Undergraduate Studies.
  • 9 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 19 for the College of Business Administration, College of Engineering & Computer Science, College of Medicine, and College of Optics & Photonics.
  • Doors open 90 minutes before the ceremonies, and graduates begin processing 20 minutes before the ceremonies, which are expected to last about two hours each.

    Based on the number of intents to graduate filed by students, the university will award an estimated 5,168 degrees during the three ceremonies. That includes 4,405 bachelor’s degrees, 657 master’s degrees, four education specialist degrees, 12 educational doctoral degrees, 81 Ph.D.s and nine Doctor of Nursing degrees.

    The speaker for the Friday morning ceremony will be Mark Brewer, the president and CEO of the Central Florida Foundation, where he builds community partnerships that bring capital to innovative social initiatives. He has worked with hundreds of individuals, families and corporations to establish philanthropic donations, endowments, funding strategies and planned gifts. At the national level, Brewer chaired the Community Foundation Services Corporation, which oversaw the Merrill Lynch Community Charitable Fund, a national donor-advised fund. At the state level, he is past chair of the Florida Philanthropic Network, a statewide association of grant-makers. Locally, he addresses local needs as chairman of Brewer also is vice chair of the Heart of Florida United Way Investing in Results Council, and serves on the Central Florida Partnership and the Central Florida Commission on Homelessness.

    The speaker for the Friday afternoon ceremony will be Nancy Meyer, who has been the publisher and CEO of the Orlando Sentinel since October 2014. She began her newspaper career in New York City with the Gannett Company and went on to executive leadership roles with Hearst Newspapers at the San Francisco Chronicle and the Albany Times Union, and later served as publisher of the Hartford Courant, the nation’s oldest continuously published newspaper. She was president of the New York Newspaper and Marketing Executives, and has served with the Newspaper Association of America, the Orlando Economic Development Commission and the Central Florida Commission on Homelessness.

    The speaker for the Saturday ceremony will be Richard Lapchick, the endowed chair and director of the DeVos Sport Business Management Program at the UCF College of Business Administration, and the president and CEO of the National Consortium for Academics and Sports. Lapchick also is director of The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport, which annually publishes the critically acclaimed Racial and Gender Report Card. He is an advocate of equal rights and social justice, and is often described as “the racial conscience of sport.”